Update Page for David Hanson - October 2012
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10/29/12 (Rachel Hanson) I have to share something about David that is an answer to the prayer of some, especially his family. There are stages in cognitive recovery that are not always so pleasant. There may be severe confusion, combativeness, and agitation. David seems to have skipped this stage. His therapists love him because he is so peaceful and one of them made the comment that he was a "religious man" before the accident and this makes a difference. I am so happy, relieved, and thankful to the Lord that David or the rest of us taking care of David don't have to experience that part of recovery. It seems that the peace that accompanies being indwelt by the Holy Spirit is evident in David, even after a severe brain injury. Satan cannot take that away.
10/24/12 (Rachel Hanson) David is now eating 3 meals a day. He is doing pretty good with eating most of it but if he doesn't eat enough real food, he has to be tube fed some. I'm learning patience like never before. sometimes it takes almost 2 hours to feed David. It sounds like the doctor wants to keep David here indefinitely (ok, im exaggerating...but it seems like forever)...no discharge date or possible date yet. I figured out that David has been in the hospital longer than we were married before the accident. The botox injections and serial casting seem to be working well. David has gained almost 20 degrees in his ankle. On Monday he got fit for an articulating AFO (ankle brace) for his right and should get fit for the left soon. He is slowly gaining better neck and trunk control and so the PT is talking about getting him a normal wheelchair rather than the tilt-in-space one he has now so that he can start using his legs to propel himself. Yesterday, he started a new medication to help him focus and stay awake better during the day. Mom was here today and brought one of David's favorite games, Rook. He was my partner and was able to call trump appropriately when he looked at my hand. He got to hold the cards and play them a few times. One of his good friends came by today and I could tell David recognized him right away and wanted to say something but couldn't quite get the words out, although he was able to shake his hand when he left. He consistently whispers goodnight and I love you when I leave for the night and almost broke my heart the other night when I told him i wished I could stay with him, he responded, "Me too."
10/19/12 (Annette Hanson) Tonight I thought I would just post some of the "normal" things in a day with David, but I'll start with last night. I read quite awhile to him from Anna's book- "Through Thick and Thin." It is a take-off on stories from our children's childhood. David seemed to listen intently and was very interested in looking at the pictures in the book. After about an hour or so of reading he fell peacefully asleep, so we went "home" to our suite. This morning David had a cast taken off and had to go through some painful stretching. He was kind of distressed afterwards and had a look on his face that made me feel really bad for him. He tried to say something and even used his voice, but it was too hard for us to understand. :( He seemed to feel better when we fed him some breakfast. He is just starting to be able to eat finely ground food and we get to feed it to him. :) His morning schedule is to have a session with the Occupational Therapists, learning to hold things and manipulate his hands, fingers, and arms. He is guided through actions like brushing teeth and washing his face etc. His arms and hands are not very flexible right now, but he is slowly improving. David spends several hours during the day up in a special wheelchair. He needs a neck brace on right now because it is very hard for him to hold up his head. This too is improving each day. :) Rachel was here to feed him lunch and spend some time just being sweet to him. We (Rachel, Beth and I ) went out for a little lunch and came back in time to be in on some of his Physical Therapy. Today he got another cast replaced. Then we had time to bring him out to the patio to enjoy some nice San Jose weather. We tried sunglasses on him today because his eyes seem sensitive to light. He would open his eyes with the glasses on and shut them as soon as we took them off. :) After awhile he seemed to be hurting from sitting up so long, and his right arm was swelling up and turning sort of purple. Back in his bed, he was very much more content and ready for supper. Rachel did a really good job feeding him and he ate a lot of real food. That is good because it means less tube feeding. At one point he took a rather large drink from his straw....he is supposed to take small ones so he can be sure to swallow carefully, but he really likes drinking and slurped a big slurp. His cheeks were so full and he started swishing it around inside his mouth. He looked so funny, we all started to laugh. :) Thankfully, he didn't choke! Rachel definitely has a special way with him, and it is neat to see him respond to her questions and instructions. He doesn't say much, but raises his eyebrows, smiles little smiles, and reaches out to give her a "fist bump." He whispered, "Good night" to her tonight. As we left, David was being taken down for an ultrasound on his right arm. The swelling is a little concern, so we are praying for him in that regard tonight. There are no huge leaps and bounds to report, but day by day improvements and moment by moment blessings from the Lord. Just knowing He is near and is the God of mercies and compassion is great encouragement to us. Each seemingly little thing we see Him doing for David is really a big thing because these are the threads of healing that the Lord is weaving together in David.
10/16/12 (Annette Hanson) Happy morning..... We went to see David earlier than usual, and he was more alert than he has been lately. I read to him from Genesis 22 and how God provided a lamb, focusing a little bit on "Jehovah Jireh"....God who provides. After I was done reading, David tried to whisper something but it was too faint to hear and we couldn't read his lips. He tried again... still couldn't understand. I turned off the fan and Beth encouraged him to say it louder. Then we heard faintly but very distinctly, "my Provider." :) !
10/14/12 (Annette Hanson) We enjoyed fellowship with some of the Lord's dear people this morning, then more fellowship with more of His people this afternoon. :) Our bond in the Lord is such a blessing! :) This evening David was quite alert, which was very nice since he has seemed kind of "distant" for much of the week. As I spoke of his wife and family who love him, and named his siblings who love and miss him, he smiled.... on his own. :) Thank you, all of you who have been praying! David is handling the "casting" pretty well. He now has a cast on his arm along with the other casts. He doesn't seem to like them very well, but I think he will be glad about them in the long run.His blood pressure has come down, and we are thankful! I was reading to David from John 4, and tonight read about the nobleman's son who was sick. I had a little bit of a lump in my throat as I tried to read, "Go your way; your son lives." and then "So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and he went his way." How special!!! As Beth and I said, "Good night" to him, he mouthed "Good night" and waved to us as we left. :)
David's 29th Birthday: 10/10/12 (Annette Hanson) It is a wonderful day to remember. The Lord has saved David's life and is healing him bit by bit. We are very grateful! Thank you all for your prayers and the love expressed! In his very limited condition, David tries very hard to communicate and his mind seems very understanding. We pray that his bodily abilities will also heal and although we are sad when we see his suffering, we are also encouraged with each improvement the Lord gives. David had mashed potatoes today...and ice cream. :) Swallowing can be a slow process, but he did well. He now has a cast on each ankle to help remedy spasticity and keep his muscles flexible. This spasticity is quite an issue to deal with. Another concern is that David often has high blood pressure. We would appreciate prayer in these areas. Overall, I think David had a happy day and was resting peacefully when we left him tonight.
10/8/12 (Rachel Hanson) Our little secret, God's big miracle! (See photo to the right!)
10/7/12 (Annette Hanson) Beth and I have arrived in San Jose. We enjoyed spending time with David and Rachel today! David kept trying to say things, but no sound came out. We tried to read his lips and could understand some things, but felt bad when he would try so hard to say something and we just couldn't get it. Well, we all need to be patient and keep trying. Beth and I started working on the sign language alphabet with him, and he could do A, B, and C. We are looking forward to being with him tomorrow during therapy times. :)
10/6/12 (Rachel Hanson) David said a couple more words yesterday and was able to eat some real food! Applesauce and chocolate pudding. :) Looks like he'll be able to have at least some ice cream for his birthday next week. :) The doctor injected Botox into a bunch of muscles groups to help relax the tone. It was pretty painful for David but he was brave. At the beginning of next week, we should start seeing the Botox take effect and they may do some serial casting to gain range of motion. The doctor called Botox "liquid gold" because it's so pricey, so we're very thankful the insurance company approved it and approved enough of it.
10/4/12 (Rachel Hanson) I have most excellent news to proclaim today. Yesterday was a pretty good day. David was up and awake a lot of the day despite a lot of pain meds. A good friend of his stopped by to visit and was a nice addition to the day. During PT, he got to go on the tilt table for the first time since his weight bearing precautions have been lifted. Since he has been in bed a lot for the last 8 weeks, it was expected that he would have a bit of orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure) when put on the tilt table, but he performed perfectly (and so did the oxycodone! :-P) and his blood pressure was good. Last night, Dr. Duong and a couple resident docs performed a few nerve blocks to help David relax in certain muscle groups and it worked beautifully. It was rather interesting to watch too. :) Today, I was at work but mom sent me a text that made me almost drop my phone: "David spoke 3 words for the speech therapist today!!!!" I cannot believe the miracles God is doing for my husband. God is not only using this to show His power in healing David but is using it to heal other broken things and people. It's absolutely amazing to watch all the great things He has done in the last 2 months.
10/4/12 (Janet and Peter Rawlings) David had a good day today. He was pretty alert most of the day. I had the idea last night that maybe he didn't really understand that he was being fed straight into his stomach. So I told him today that they were feeding him. It was going straight into his stomach. He gave a big sigh. I took it to mean that he was relieved to know that, but Rachel thought that he maybe was thinking that's too bad, I would like to eat through my mouth!!! Today he got to stand up on his legs. They put him on a slanting table. He actually slept through most of it. But they said he did really well. Mostly, because his blood pressure stayed so good. They said that most people have trouble when they stand up like that for the first time. Tonight a doctor put some nerve blocking medicine in his upper arm and in both of the upper thighs. This is supposed to let his arm and legs relax so that he can learn to control them at command more. It will last about 6 months....long
enough for him to learn new pathways in his brain for moblelization. And he will be able to control his arm so he can feed himself. Another first today was that the speech therapist gave him cranberry juice slush. He did well. I'm really hoping that he can at least have a popcycle for his b-day.
10/2/12 (Rachel Hanson) David has developed bony formation (heterotropic ossification) in his left knee, hip, and elbow. This is not good news because it doesn't reverse and will limit his range of motion in these joints. His spasticity continues to be a big problem in lots of muscle groups, making it difficult for him to move like he wants to so they are going to perform some nerve blocks and botox treatments to try to manage his muscle tone. One piece of good news is that he can finally weight bear on his left leg. This opens the door for him to be put in a standing frame or on a tilt table and help with transfers.
10/1/12 (Rachel Hanson) One thing to pray about is David has lost about 35 pounds so could use a few more pounds back on him. It's bad when your husband weighs less than you! :-/
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org